United Church of Christ – Wider Church Ministries
Humanitarian Development Team
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Daily Briefing
Barbara T. Baylor, MPH – Temporary Health Liaison
Myths, Questions and Facts about COVID-19
Today’s brief explores some of the myths and fictions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The information used is from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Infectious Disease Advisor Report.
Question: Will cold weather and snow kill COVID-19?
Answer: No. There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill COVID-19 or other diseases.
Q: Can Lysol or Clorox kill COVID-19?
A: Partly true. Lysol, Clorox and similar products have long been touted as having the ability to kill 99.9 percent of germs, often on contact. Lysol’s label lists “human coronavirus” as one of the pathogens it can wipe out. But that isn’t the novel coronavirus now known as COVID-19; that’s the strain that causes the common cold.
Unexpired Clorox is likely to destroy the virus on hard surfaces. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
Q: Can you get COVID-19 twice?
A: According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, while it has not been proven, it is not likely that you will (at least in the short term) because if COVID-19 acts like other viruses, once you recover, you won’t get re-infected.
Q: Will exposing myself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C (77 degrees F) prevent COVID-19?
A: No. It will not. You can catch COVID-19 no matter how sunny or hot the weather is.
Q: Can one recover from COVID-19?
A: Yes. Catching COVID-19 DOES NOT mean you will have it for life. Most of the people who catch COVID-19 recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies.
Myth: You are free from COVID-19 if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort.
Fact: False. The only way to confirm if you have the COVID-19 virus is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
Q: Will taking a hot bath prevent COVID-19?
A: No. Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C (97.7-98.6 F) regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower.
Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over my body will kill COVID-19.
Fact: False. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth) and skin.
Q: Will eating garlic help prevent infection with COVID-19?
A: No. Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence that eating garlic has protected people from COVID-19.
Myth: Regularly rinsing your nose with sterile saline will help prevent infection with COVID-19.
Fact: There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with sterile saline has protected people from COVID-19. There is limited evidence that rinsing the nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. Regular rinsing has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
Q: Are there specific medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19?
A: No. To date there are no specific medicines recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine has NOT been approved.
Q: Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?
A: No. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can spread COVID-19 to people or be a source of infection in the United States.
Q: Does using Ibuprofen (Advil) make COVID-19 worse?
A: No. There is no evidence that Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can make COVID-19 cases more severe. There may be good reasons for certain patients to avoid NSAIDs. Always check with your doctor.
Q: Can COVID-19 be transmitted through mosquito bites?
A: No. To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that COVID-19 could be transmitted by mosquitoes.
Q: Will an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill COVID-19?
A: No. UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
Q: COVID-19 only affects older people.
A: False. People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.